BLT Salad

I have been making so many good things lately that I have 10 blog posts / recipes in progress right now. My brain has been very overwhelmed with the incredible flavors of summer. We are also coming up on one year of blogging at the Bubbly Kitchen which is oh so exciting! I think you guys may be getting tired of complicated multiple step recipes, fancy wedding cakes and cookies, and bread recipes. So lets press the easy button and sooth our aching backs with a simple BLT salad. Remember when you doubled the bacon in your potato and onion volcanoes, the caramelized onion and gruyere pizza, and your french onion soup? Well here is a sort of healthy way to use that extra bacon! I love taking salads to work for lunch because of these amazing GladWare Food Storage Containers. There is a separate little tupperware for the dressing that plugs into the lid, no soggy salad and totally easy transport. This is also a really great salad for summer barbecues. It is an amazing way to include some of those fresh tomatoes from your garden. I like ranch dressing with this salad but you should use whatever sounds good to you. So this maybe should be called a BLT-M because of the cheese. You can definitely use whatever mozzarella cheese you find at the store, I like to buy fresh Belgioiso pre-sliced mozzarella. You can even add in some homemade croutons if you so desire.

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BLT Salad
Serves 2

2 cups romaine lettuce
1 fresh tomato (or 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes), chopped
4 strips of crispy bacon, in pieces
3 slices fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
Ranch dressing

Start by chopping up the tomatoes, bacon, mozzarella, and eggs. Toss these with the lettuce. Toss with the ranch dressing. Yes it is that easy.

This is a Bubbly Kitchen original recipe.

Mexican Quinoa

My family seems to be getting into gluten free and vegan recipes, and so just for them I have been working on this Mexican Quinoa. It is gluten free and vegan. I also just planted jalapenos and cannot wait to make this with my own patio grown jalapenos! This was my first adventure into the trendy grains people keep talking about. Quinoa is actually a seed though, but its still pretty popular right now. I was very happy with the texture and flavors of this dish. This is perfect for dinner and the summer and makes delicious leftovers. You can make a perfect lunch bowl with this and a mixed greens salad. This quinoa is great warm or cold. You can add salsa (my preference – salsa verde) to the finished product, kind of like a salad dressing. My absolute favorite way to have this salad is actually the next day. Step 1, make your Mexican quinoa in advance. Step 2, pack the quinoa in a cooler with chips and salsa, limes, and Coronas. Step 3, squeeze a lime over your quinoa and into your Corona. Step 4, have a fabulous picnic by the beach or the pool.

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Mexican Quinoa

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup diced sweet onion
3 jalapenos, seeded and diced
1 medium tomato, diced (or 1 can diced tomatoes drained)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp salt
Sour cream, avocado, salsa, shredded cheese for serving.

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add jalapeno and garlic, saute for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add in the tomato, garlic, and corn, cook for another 2-3 minutes. Mix in the quinoa, stock, black beans, and salt.

Bring this to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Cook, covered, for 20-25 minutes. It is done when all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff the quinoa and serve.

Recipe adapted from Peanut Butter Runner.

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Greek Salad

Just in time for Labor Day and the end of summer fast approaching, this salad is the definition of fresh. The crunchy vegetables and tangy dressing are delightful. It tastes as good as it looks.

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For the salad
1 hothouse cucumber, seeded, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 pound feta cheese, cut into 1/2 inch squares
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted

For the vinaigrette
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil

Place the chopped cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, and red onion in a large bowl.

Whisk together the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables and mix. Slowly mix in the feta and olives. Refrigerate for 30 minutes prior to serving.

Adapted from Ina Garten.